Per 1 March 2012 the Collective Redundancy (Notification) Act (Wet melding collectief ontslag or WMCO) shall be amended. The amendments to the WMCO were enacted by law of 17 November 2011 and shall enter into force per 1 March 2012. The most important amendment is that terminations by mutual consent (by means of a settlement agreement) shall also fall under the scope of the WMCO, as a result of which the employer will, in an earlier stage, have to fulfil the notification requirement and consult the unions in a timely manner.
Up to 1 March 2012 the notification requirement applies only to terminations after consent thereto has been obtained from the administrative office for employed persons insurance schemes UWV WERKbedrijf, or after termination [of the relevant employment contracts] has been granted by the sub-district court. This also means that from 1 March 2012 termination agreements shall also be taken into consideration in the determination as to whether 20 or more employment contracts may be terminated for economic reasons within three months. The new law, however, does contain more amendments. For more information thereon, please see my article of 2 December 2011.